When thinking about what to do in Jackson Hole, fun and adventure should top your list! This valley, which is formed by the Teton Range on one side, and the Gros Ventre Range on the other, is the perfect place to go in order to escape the big city and enjoy a little slice of life in the mountains.
Wildlife viewing tops the list when considering what to do in Jackson Hole. Find out more!
The region surrounding Jackson Hole is one of the most spectacular places on the continent. Within driving distance, you have access to world-renowned Yellowstone National Park, the oldest national park in the U.S. and home to Old Faithful Geyser. You can also easily get to the pristine ecosystem of Grand Teton National Park, under the shadow of the towering Grand Teton Mountain. With so many things to do in Jackson Hole, start with nature.
To see these sights, the area has many options. Take a wildlife tour and let a professional guide show you the area by foot, van, or covered wagon. Or go llamaneering! You’ll not only see the sights, you’ll make a new, furry friend. If you prefer more adventurous excursions, then consider whitewater rafting on some of the best rapids in the States. Alternatively, you may want to embrace your country western setting by giving it your best shot at several rodeo events. Think you can rope a calf? Prove it in Jackson Hole!
What to do in Jackson Hole #1
Wildlife Tours – With all of the amazing wildlife in Jackson Hole’s two major parks, nature lovers have ample territory to explore when considering what to do in Jackson Hole. Half-day, full-day, and multi-day tours are all available, and are conducted in various types of vehicles, so there will certainly be an appealing option for you. In the winter, there’s even a horse-drawn sleigh that can take you on an incredible wildlife tour! All guides are knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, and unique ecosystems in the vicinity.
Eco Tour of Yellowstone National Park
Starting at: $275/Person
Yellowstone National Park isn’t a popular tourist destination without reason. On this eco-tour to this jewel of the West, you’ll find out why as you explore its collection of vibrant wildlife and geological diversity.
If your interests are specific, you can find tour companies that specialize in the areas you want to see and learn about. Depending on which one you select, you could spend the day looking for grizzly bears around Yellowstone or Grand Teton; take an early morning safari out to spot moose, elk, or the many birds of prey that roam the Wyoming skies; or stop at the area’s many famous landmarks, such as Old Faithful, a world-renowned geyser that erupts every 91 minutes, or Fountain Paint Pots, a bubbling pool of multi-colored mud.
In addition, Jackson Hole is home to many seasonal and themed wildlife tours. Go back in time with a ride in a Bar-T-5 covered wagon. Or hop on a sleigh that’ll take you through the National Elk Refuge, where you’ll encounter countless elk, and a cast of other colorful characters, like bison, eagles, and foxes. As you can see, there is no shortage of what to do in Jackson Hole
What to do in Jackson Hole #2
Whitewater Rafting – If you’re up for an adventure, then Snake River is an incredible place for white water rafting! There are trips that are fast-paced and others than are slower, depending on the level of thrills you’re seeking, but there’s always something here for everyone. A Snake River adventure also lets you experience some of the area’s abundant wildlife from a different perspective, seated onboard a raft rather than standing on the ground. If you are still looking for what to do in Jackson Hole, then get out there and get wet!
8 Mile River Rafting Adventure
Starting at: $68/Person
Head out for this exploratory whitewater-rafting trip. For over three hours, you’ll splish and splash down the Snake River as you pass between the majestic Snake River Canyon. It’s a wonderful combination of exhilaration and relaxation.
Snake River Canyon rafting tours can be had either in Grand Teton National Park or on the South Park section. On them, you’ll enjoy long looks at the Teton Mountains and Grey’s National Forest in the distance. An impressive array of animals will line the shore, as well, so be on the lookout for beavers, moose, and maybe even a bear! The skies are busy here, too, with eagles, ospreys, and other birds of prey.
But this is more than just a sightseeing tour; this eight-mile stretch of the Snake River is known for some of the best whitewater rafting in the country, with its Class II and III rapids, including Big Kahuna and Lunch Counter. Most rafts fit between eight and 14 guests, and a run down the river lasts at least three hours, so make sure you’ve got the time… not to mention, a change of clothes!
What to do in Jackson Hole #3
Grand Teton National Park – One destination you must have on your what to do in Jackson Hole list is Grand Teton National Park. Its many mountains and lakes occupy much of the valley in Jackson Hole. Between the various terrains in the park, and all of the local wildlife, like moose, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, elk, grizzlies, and trumpeter swans living on its grounds, there is plenty to see and do at this destination.
Just south of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park was established in 1929, and has seen a substantial number of visitors ever since. The mountains are particularly appealing to visitors and locals alike, especially the Grand Teton Mountain Range. Its main summit is the 13,770-ft. Grand Teton, but it is just one of several peaks belong to the massif that’s called the “Cathedral Group.” The range is complemented by the masses of water that surround it, including Bradley Lake, Jenny Lake, and Leigh Lake.
A short drive from downtown Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park is home to 200 miles of walkable and bikeable trails. And on the Snake River, one of the Columbia River’s major tributaries, you can go fishing, boating, or rafting. Even during the winter months, the park has plenty to do, from recreational activities like snowshoeing and wildlife photography, to intense sports like snowmobiling and skiing.
What to do in Jackson Hole #4
Yellowstone National Park – Yellowstone National Park is one of the best-known parks in the world, and it also happens to be the oldest! Surely, seeing Yellowstone should be on your what to do in Jackson Hole list. It is known for its amazing geothermal activity and, of course, its extensive collection of wildlife. Located 56 miles from Jackson Hole, it is best to enter during the warmer months, as it becomes more and more difficult to navigate (especially in the north) once the snow and ice begin falling. Nevertheless, for those willing to take a true adventure, Yellowstone can still be accessed during the winter.
Explore Old Faithful
Starting At: $245.00/Person
On this excursion to Yellowstone’s famous geyser, Old Faithful, you’ll encounter the Teton Mountain Range, mud pots, Bald Eagles, bison, and so much more!
The park is one-of-a-kind due to its ecosystem, which features an enormous collection of large mammals, such as bison herds, grizzly and black bears, elk, moose, wolves, lynxes, mountain lions, and a variety of deer—nearly 60 species in all! There’s also an astounding 1,700 flora species, the most common of which is the Lodgepole Pine. In addition, the geothermal activity of Yellowstone Caldera, combined with frequent tectonic activity, have combined to create 10,000 hot springs and geysers throughout the park.
Two must-see attractions at the park are Yellowstone Lake and Yellowstone Caldera. The former, at 7,000 ft., is the largest high altitude lake on the continent. Meanwhile, the Caldera is a supervolcano that measures 34- by 45-miles, which consumes a majority of Yellowstone’s surface area. These sites and others can be accessed via the park’s extensive network of hiking and biking trails.
What to do in Jackson Hole #5
Snowmobiling in Yellowstone - During the winter, the national parks near Jackson Hole can quickly get treacherous. Snowfall makes hiking and oftentimes driving next to impossible. Fortunately, with a snowmobiling adventure in Yellowstone, you can invite Mother Nature to “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
Snowmobiling tours are more common in Yellowstone than in Grand Teton National Park, since the latter permits the vehicles only on Jackson Lake. And that’s a really good thing, since snowmobiling through Yellowstone means unique views of snow-covered Yellowstone Canyon and frozen-over sections of Yellowstone Lake and River, as well as the sight of geysers shooting steaming, boiling water in the bone-chilling air!
Snowmobiling excursions aren’t short, either. Generally speaking, you’re looking at eight-to-12 hours of fun while you scurry atop miles of white powder.